My friend, Jennifer, over at Cornerstone Church of Knoxville (fabulous Sovereign Grace church, if I had to live in Volunteer country – this is where I would go) asked me to guest post for their singles’ blog for Thanksgiving. Here it is: enjoy!
Thanksgiving. Publix commercials of big turkeys perfectly roasted and stuffed with bounty from gardens (or the grocery store). Football games and parades on television. Long-lost relatives offering much advice on the state of our dating lives (or the lack there of). Most of us cook or eat way too much food only to nap on the couch and eat more for dinner. Unfortunately, the “thankful” part is a two-minute grace that we say before the meal. Really? Is that was Thanksgiving boils down to? Don’t we have so much more to be thankful for in our lives than turkey, cranberry sauce, and pecan pie (and the correct pronunciation can be debated by all southerners).
Colossians 3 is a reminder of what our lives should look like in response to the gospel of God in Christ. We can’t live out the end of Colossians 3 unless we start at the beginning of the chapter. Paul exhorts the Colossian believers with this: “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:1-4) If we claim Christ as our Lord and Savior, then we should be dead to the things of self and flesh. This includes but is not limited to: quarreling (which occurs in most American homes at ALL holidays), ungratefulness (are you really going to argue about who gets the last crescent roll or the turkey leg), and bitterness (are we bitter that we aren’t married YET and may even still be eating at the kiddie table?) Oh, that our hearts may be changed because of the Gospel.
Colossians 3:16 tells us how we should live our lives in light of being raised with Christ. Hint: the gospel should compel us to live like this: “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly, admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” This doesn’t mean that we have to break out in songs as we pass each other on the street, in the church, or in our homes. But, the gospel should set the tone for our hearts and our lips. The Gospel has provided us so much. We were dead; but, God. God showed his immeasurable goodness and grace to us by sending His Son to save ungrateful people who cared nothing for the things of God. We now have the opportunity to sit and dine with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, with the Bread of Life, with the Living Water.
As we sit down to the Thanksgiving table with family and friends this November, let us remember that we deserve death. We don’t even deserve a turkey, or ham, or stuffing, or a home, or anything. But, in God’s kindness we can sit and dine with friends and family and have way more than we ever should have. Let our hearts and minds and lips reflect the goodness of our precious and abundantly-giving gracious Father who saved us in Christ.